Belak breaks nose

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:02 AM ET

Wade Belak will have a broken nose reset today in Toronto, but expects to play tomorrow against the Ottawa Senators.

The Leafs defenceman became the third National Hockey Leaguer to have his facial features rearranged by tough Boston Bruins' 6-foot-3 rookie Colton Orr (no relation to No. 4) during a first-period scrap. Orr's victims include Andre Roy, whose orbital bone he broke in a game last week against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Belak returned to last night's game with a face shield in the second period.

"Not bad, just the second time in 10 years it has happened," Belak said through a stuffed nostril. "I probably wouldn't have fought him if I'd had the choice. But given the circumstances ... he had his gloves off before the puck even hit the ice on the faceoff. You didn't have much of a choice. He did his job, I guess."

A LONG CLIMB FOR MATS

Mats Sundin missed nine games in the 1999-2000 season, but still came back from a leg injury to lead the Maple Leafs with 73 points in 73 games.

As he reached the nine-game mark as an absentee last night, with the exact return date from a fractured orbital bone still unknown, it's clear he'll have a hard time retaining his title as Toronto's perennial scoring champ. Only once in 10 years has he not topped the team at the end of the year.

IN-FINN-ITE GOALTENDING

Hannu Toivonen, the Bruins' starting goalie last night, shares the same agent as Leafs first-round draft pick Tuukka Rask, Chicago-based Bill Zito Jr.

"Tuukka is going to do all right. He's 18 now and they're going to give him a lot of playing time with the national junior team. The Leafs are a good organization and in a year or two, he'll be ready to join them," Toivonen said.

SHOOTING GALLERY

As a two-goal defenceman in 99 games with the Leafs, Quinn joked that he shouldn't be dispensing advice about the shootout. But he is the one charged with picking the three players.

"It's a matter of feel at the end of the game," the coach said. "You try to think about guys who are having a good night or who should be good in that situation. A lot of time you play percentages or play a hunch."


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